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Best Banh Mi?

AllieHaj May 5, 2010 04:17 PM

Looking for some advice about where to get the best banh mi (vietnamese po-boy) in the city. I have heard wonderful things about Dong Phuong Bakery, but am wondering if there is something a bit closer to Uptown?

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  1. m
    mikemill RE: AllieHaj May 6, 2010 10:37 AM

    Just go to Dong Phuong. I promise you won't regret it.

    1. r
      runCP3 RE: AllieHaj May 6, 2010 11:45 AM

      Banh Mi Sao Mai down the street from Dong Phuong.

      Check out this article:

      Banh Mi Sao MAI
      14321 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129

      3 Replies
      1. re: runCP3
        Suzy Wong RE: runCP3 May 6, 2010 12:09 PM

        Dong Phuong also makes their own bread (and sells it to many places) and has at least 10 maybe 13 different types of Banh Mi.

        1. re: Suzy Wong
          lenwood RE: Suzy Wong Aug 2, 2010 12:22 PM

          I went on Saturday. At least 13 types and all less than $3.00. Incredible. I got the shrimp cake style. I think I'll go 10 times before I can try anything else.

        2. re: runCP3
          vttp926 RE: runCP3 May 10, 2010 07:16 PM

          Yum! banh mi sao mai is the best. i even remember when they were selling it out of the house then out of a candy truck when i was a little kid. i think they use the bread from dong phuong. but the filling is totally different then what you can get from dong phuong. much better in my opinion. they have a 2nd store that is called something other then banh mi sao mai but i don't have the name or the address on hand right now.

        3. h
          Hungry Celeste RE: AllieHaj May 7, 2010 07:53 AM

          Best & closest to uptown are hard to reconcile when it comes to Vietnamese food. If proximity is your primary concern, then go to Jazmine Cafe on Carrollton in Riverbend. The bahn mi aren't on the menu, but are listed on a whiteboard near the door. Slightly farther from uptown is Eat Well food mart, corner of Canal & Broad (uptown lakeside corner).

          If you're willing to cross the river, you can hit Pho Tau Bay, Tan Dinh, or even the sandwich counter inside Hong Kong Market. All are substantially closer, mileage-wise, than Dong Phuong.

          Which is best? I think it depends entirely on what sort of sandwich filling you crave...

          Pho Tau Bay Restaurant
          113 Westbank Expy, Gretna, LA 70053

          Tan Dinh
          1705 Lafayette St, Gretna, LA 70053

          Jazmine Cafe
          614 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

          Hong Kong
          7605 Westbank Expy, Marrero, LA 70072

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hungry Celeste
            paz5559 RE: Hungry Celeste May 7, 2010 08:04 AM

            Pho Bang, Pho Nola, and Pho Orchid in Metairie are also worth considering

            1. re: paz5559
              Hungry Celeste RE: paz5559 May 7, 2010 08:14 AM

              Pho Bang in Metairie doesn't serve bahn mi. Dunno about the other PB locations.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste
                paz5559 RE: Hungry Celeste May 7, 2010 10:39 AM

                My bad - I get amazing spring rolls and lemon grass chicken there when my office orders lunch.

          2. m
            midcity RE: AllieHaj May 7, 2010 10:37 AM

            If you really want banh mi and you can't get to DP or the stuff on the Westbank, I second Celeste--Jazmine Cafe is pretty good.

            1. uptownlibrarian RE: AllieHaj May 7, 2010 11:47 AM

              I'll chime in with my usual recommendation of Moon Wok in the French Quarter. On the banh mi continuum, they're better than Eat Well or Jazmine, but not as good as Pho Tau Bay and definitely not as good as Dong Phuong. I'd say about the same as Hong Kong Market, actually, which I don't like quite as much as Pho Tau Bay.

              Pho Tau Bay Restaurant
              113 Westbank Expy, Gretna, LA 70053

              Jazmine Cafe
              614 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

              Hong Kong
              7605 Westbank Expy, Marrero, LA 70072

              Moon Wok
              800 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              3 Replies
              1. re: uptownlibrarian
                nola79 RE: uptownlibrarian May 7, 2010 12:23 PM

                Oh god, I hate the bahn mi at Hong Kong market. Nasty stuff.

                The ones from Mook Wok are nice. I usually get the chicken.

                Hong Kong
                7605 Westbank Expy, Marrero, LA 70072

                1. re: nola79
                  runCP3 RE: nola79 May 7, 2010 01:31 PM

                  Yea, Hong Kong market sandwiches aren't good. They use their own bread instead of Dong Phuong's bread.

                2. re: uptownlibrarian
                  ChefWho RE: uptownlibrarian May 26, 2010 11:42 PM

                  I think Pho Nola on Transcontinental have the best grilled pork banh mi.There aioli in the banh mi is out of this world.I go there 4 days a week for lunch and would recommend everyone to try it ..

                3. m
                  meremortal RE: AllieHaj May 10, 2010 03:19 PM

                  This may be blasphemy because it's not a Vietnamese restaurant, but the banh mi at Cochon Butcher is spectacular. House-made headcheese and pate, great bread, roasted jalapenos instead of raw. The only thing missing was a squirt of sriracha.

                  Cochon Butcher
                  930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. Juvu RE: AllieHaj May 10, 2010 09:16 PM

                    Banh Mi is usually served at room temperature, but I really like toasting the sandwich. The kicker is usually that the vegetables get wilty, and the pickled radish and carrot get REALLY smelly. If you get your sandwiches to-go to eat for later, it is actually quite common for most Vietnamese to get the vegetables on the side. That way, you heat up the sandwiches (or in my case panini the sucker), and then put the vegetables inside afterwards. The mixture of hot & crusty, with cool and crisp make for an awesome sandwich.

                    It really makes Hong Kong's Banh Mi tolerable. And actually, Hong Kong's Banh Mi isn't that bad. Just because they don't use Dong Phuong bread doesn't make them inferior. Dong Phuong is good for a lot of things, but that bread gets way more hype than it deserves. It's good if you eat it fresh, but otherwise, it loses flavor real quick. If you're going out to Dong Phuong, don't do it for the bread, do it for the pate chaud (meat pies). The ones with jicama are particularly delicious.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Juvu
                      Hungry Celeste RE: Juvu May 11, 2010 08:20 AM

                      I like the BBQ pork pies best, myself.

                      1. re: Juvu
                        Suzy Wong RE: Juvu May 11, 2010 12:19 PM

                        Hmm, interesting. I have been going to Dong Phuong for years and never saw anyone order the veg on the side, but it makes sense (for any kind of sandwich really)! I have eaten banh mi from DP the next day and find the bread hasn't lost any taste at all, and have frozen it as well...(But we all don't like the same things of course)

                        Someone said on another food forum The Galley used Dong Phuong's bread for their Jazz Fest po-boys....Can't comment on Hong Kong Mkt, I've never been...Everyone that has mentioned Hong Kong Mkt always talks about the smell, what is it? A seafood smell?

                        1. re: Suzy Wong
                          Hungry Celeste RE: Suzy Wong May 12, 2010 07:11 AM

                          It's a complicated smell: produce, incense, dried medicinal herbs, overripe mangoes, cardboard glue, seafood, a faint, faint whiff of durian....hard to explain, and it can be overwhelming if you're sensitive to unfamiliar smells. It's not a spoiled-food smell, or a seafood smell, and after a couple of visits, your brain will recognize it & classify it as the "hong kong market smell".

                      2. l
                        Liz Gober RE: AllieHaj May 11, 2010 11:59 AM

                        I'm a banh mi novice....what fillings would you suggest for my first? And I can't agree with Juvu more about the pate chaud. They are addictive.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Liz Gober
                          Suzy Wong RE: Liz Gober May 11, 2010 12:22 PM

                          I don't eat pork, but I have had pork banh mi in my life, that said pork is quite popular, and even though it doesn't have "meat", the vegetarian is good and filling and the shrimp patty (a processed compact patties) better than it sounds is quite tasty. As I said in an earlier post Dong Phuong has at least 12? kinds of banh mi....Many choices...

                          1. re: Liz Gober
                            midcity RE: Liz Gober May 15, 2010 05:44 PM

                            Dong Phuong has a choice of Vietnamese and Chinese pork, plus meatballs, Vietnamese ham, etc. I usually get the Chinese roast pork.

                            1. re: Liz Gober
                              Juvu RE: Liz Gober May 20, 2010 09:52 AM

                              Just go with the "Dac Biet" which in Vietnamese means "special." It typically includes all the cold cuts. So in this case the four "meats" are:

                              Jambon - Vietnamese Ham

                              giò thủ - Vietnamese Headcheese (Consisting of bits of pork which is awesome. Don't shy away from the stuff)

                              Cha lua - Vietnamese "Bologna" which is really pork and chicken ground with spices, wrapped in banana leaf, and then boiled. The leaf is removed, and the remaining meat is sliced.

                              Paté gan - Vietnamese (Pork) Liver Pate

                              There are other meats that do not come in Dac Biet, like grilled pork, which is only alright. The way that DP prepares it for sandwiches is by no means as good as it would be if you ordered it in a noodle bowl (Bun Thit Nuong).

                              HK Market's Dac Biet also includes xiu mai, which is a vietnamese meatball consisting of (you guessed it...) pork. Yeah, I guess that Banh Mi is about as unkosher as it gets. I'll have to try Midcity's suggestion and try the chinese roast pork, that sounds awesome.

                              As for the galley, I don't know about them, but I had a cochon de lait po-boy at a wedding, and it was served on DP Baguette. I love the bread, don't get me wrong, but it ain't no Leidenheimer.

                              1. re: Juvu
                                midcity RE: Juvu May 20, 2010 08:38 PM

                                I really want to like the special but I think the headcheese plus the liver are too much for me. There's something in that one that doesn't work for me. I think a really adventurous eater would do well with the Dac Biet, but if you tend to be a little weird about meat, I'd recommend the pork. Juvu is right, though--the dac biet definitely has a more distinctive taste.

                                I've gotten the impression that the DP baguette isn't exactly supposed to be like our normal NOLA french bread--Vietnamese French bread is supposed to be drier and more crackly. But again, I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject.

                            2. l
                              Liz Gober RE: AllieHaj May 20, 2010 12:27 PM

                              Thank you so much for you advice....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Liz Gober
                                Suzy Wong RE: Liz Gober May 20, 2010 04:15 PM

                                Dong Phuong is not as far as another planet (although that's what I think of the estbank so it's all relative I guess) , it has so many other offerings. Dong Phuong also has vegetarian, fish, processed type shrimp patties among the pork, etc as I said, they have 12-14 selections...

                              2. t
                                txgirl RE: AllieHaj Jul 26, 2010 04:36 PM

                                Followed the suggestion of one of the previous posts and went to Pho Nola over the weekend. We ordered the combo bahn mi and it was excellent. I never would have even noticed the restaurant if I was just driving by. It is at the corner of Transcontinental and Veterans...on the diagonal across from the Target. It is in a tiny strip center next to a little asian market. The food was great, service wonderful and atmosphere contemporary and clean. A definite do-over.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: txgirl
                                  faubourg RE: txgirl Jul 28, 2010 02:13 PM

                                  Well, my favorite Bahn Mi used to be at the Butcher Shop...sadly, it's off the menu. My #2 is the Bahn Mi at Pho Hoa 1308 Manhattan on the West Bank across from Lowes.

                                  1. re: faubourg
                                    noradeirdre RE: faubourg Jul 29, 2010 08:48 AM

                                    What??? since when??? Dammit.

                                    1. re: noradeirdre
                                      faubourg RE: noradeirdre Aug 3, 2010 06:36 AM

                                      I guess it's been about a month...We told Donald had sad we were and hope he'll put it back on.

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